The Failure of AU’s Policies and the Prospect of a New Security Architecture in Africa

Article

For over two decades, the African union has been functioning with the main agenda to promote unity, peace, and prosperity for all its members. However, since its inception, the AU has been swamped with challenges raging from the rampant insecurity and political turmoil bedevilling the continent. ...

Usman Aliyu Uba, PhD Candidate
Istanbul Aydin University

Abstract

For over two decades, the African union has been functioning with the main agenda to promote unity, peace, and prosperity for all its members. However, since its inception, the AU has been swamped with challenges raging from the rampant insecurity and political turmoil bedevilling the continent. While the organization has contributed relentlessly to promote good governance and democracy yet, it’s arguably inundated with decade old policies and hijacked by aged leaders. Nevertheless, the AU is financially weak and reliant on external donors, even before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 – followed by the subsequent political and economic consequences. Then the war between Russia and Ukraine and its ramifications, has sent shockwaves to the continent already reeling from the COVID-19 setbacks.

Moreover, the so-called traditional allies or European partners particularly France among others have been pulling out from the continent, after failing to help address crises and tackle the insecurity problems especially in the troubled Sahel region. At this junction, the AU is in dire need of reliable strategic partner capable of building robust policies that could help address several insecurity problems facing many African countries. This article is aimed to borrow Buzan’s idea of “securitization theory“ to argue that while the African Union is aimed to promote peace and development on the continent, the lack of finance and reliable partners are partly responsible for the insecurity and underdevelopment of the continent. The article concluded that Türkiye security commitment from 2008-2021, will help provide a road map for the sustainable development of Africa.

  1. Introduction
In September 2022, the African union celebrated its 20th anniversary since its creation as an organisation aimed to promote peace, stability, and development across the continent. Notwithstanding AU’s effort to address several challenges engulfing African states, its lacklustre performance has overshadowed its ability to provide a path forward in solving several crises. Some analysts have argued that its partly due to the deteriorating consensus over the organisations’ key principles. Arguably, the solidarity among member states’ is at all time low – a quagmire resulted from lack of commitment to the principles and values of the organization.[1] The Lack of consensus among member states is partly due to weak leadership across many African countries.

Insecurity challenges are resulted from “governance-related issue“ including contested electoral process, corruption, mismanagement of public funds, violations of human rights and essential freedoms. The strong correlation between poor governance and instability in many African states has been widely recognized by scholars (Bedzigui 2018). In 2002, the African union established its Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) as a mechanism designed to prevent conflict and promote peace and security across the continent. However, AU member state have left APSA underfunded which led to its high dependency on foreign donors.[2] Experts have argued that genuine African solutions to the lack of funding the AU, will be more effective than just over dependence on foreign donations.


[1] “The African Union Peace and Security dilemma“ Paul-Simon Handy and Félicité Djilo ISS. https://issafrica.org/iss-today/the-african-unions-peace-and-security-dilemma
[2] APSA Roadmap 2016-2020, p. 58. https://au.int/en/documents/20200331/africa-peace-and-security-architecture-apsa-roadmap-2016-2020

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